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 Posted 7/29/2014 11:11:46 PM
 

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I don't know if I have ever posted in this subforum, but the soon-to-be-wife has it set in her mind that we are either getting a kitten or a puppy. The only way I see that I can benefit from her mindset is if we get a duck dog, which she has approved :satisfied: The worry that I have, and she doesn't seem to understand, is the cost of the animal. Kennel, bumpers, collars, vet visits, etc. Let's say I train my own pup and don't pay a trainer to start him/her; how much $$$ would you estimate is needed toward owning a retriever in the first 12 months? I have already briefed her about the differences in a lazy house pet and the expectations of a hunting animal, but I haven't known what to quote her in terms of money spent.



"Old school hunters used to say...if you can't land 'em on the water, you're not a duck hunter."
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Post #776456
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 Posted 7/30/2014 6:59:41 AM
 

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a duck dog is a Great choice. 
I have nothing against cats or lap dogs, everybody but me should own one, but why not get a useful animal. And if the wife not only approves, but insists, you've won half the battle already.
Not sure about prices in your neck of the woods but here in New York you can usually find a decent pup for between 600 and 1200 dollars. You don't need the direct offspring of field champions but a pup from good solid gun dogs with some FC's and MH's in their immediate background is desirable.
Expect 2-3 vet visits at anywhere from 70 to 120 dollars each for shots.
If you are going the electronic collar route figure at least $200.
Kennel crate with puppy divider, anywhere from $75 to $250 depending on how fancy you want to get. 
Puppy food is another wide ranging expense. You can spend anywhere from $20 - $75 for a 50lb bag of food. A 50lb bag should last you about a month for one pup.
There are a wide range of training videos and equipment with a wide range of prices.
I would start with a half dozen 2" bumpers- around $30, a collar and 6' lead- $20, and a 20' check cord- $20.

If you PM me your address when you get the pup, I could send you a starter kit of bumpers and collars to get you through the first 6 months. Like to help out first time retriever owners, especially when they are avid duckmen.
The stuff would be used but in good shape.
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 Posted 7/30/2014 7:18:33 AM
 

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What ever you do, buy a pup from a reputable breeder.
As mentioned, $600-$1,200 is about the range - but you'll get health clearances and a good "proven" pedigree.  Chances are HIGH that you get a good dog.

With a cheap dog.... you take your chances.
It might be trainable, it might not.
It might have good health, it might not.
Chances are NOT so high, that you get a good dog.


Good luck,
T.


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 Posted 7/30/2014 9:50:56 AM
 

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all good and accurate info and a heck of an offer from ducker.

man, we Yankees are some really nice guys!


"Cripples are our worst legacy. Hunt with a Retriever."

"Phil Robertson calls me for advice." :)
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 Posted 7/30/2014 5:21:46 PM
 

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Reputable breeder, reputable breeder, reputable breeder!
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 Posted 7/31/2014 12:37:46 AM
 

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Thanks for the responses y'all, I really appreciate it. Ducker, that's an awesome thing to offer toward a stranger. Knowing you're in cohorts with Swamper makes it even more surprising :w00t:
From y'all's responses, I am estimating around the two grand range, give or take a few hundred (mostly dependent on what the initial investment in the pup is). One of the things I have wrestled over is the importance of papers, and also the possibility of a less than orthodox breed, such as a drathaar. It's not that I doubt I will commit to the time it takes to mold a good receiver, it's just I didn't think it would be so soon! 



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 Posted 7/31/2014 7:54:27 AM
 

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If you are considering an actual drathaar, and not the Americanized version of the German wirehair, you are probably looking at spending more than the originally quoted price. Drathaars are held to very exacting standards and, I assume, the pup price reflects that.

While paper work is not a guarantee of getting a great dog, it does minimize your chances of walking out the door every morning to go hunting while the dog your wife fell in love with lolls on the couch and chews your good boots. Or worse, is in and out of the vets with heritable health problems that could have been avoided.
As was stated over and over, reputable breeder. Not just a reputable dog breeder but a reputable GUN dog breeder. 
Do some research.

If your main goal is a duck dog, and upland hunting is secondary, I would probably stick with one of the big 3 retriever breeds. Most of the general retriever training material out there is designed for these dogs and it will make your life much easier to stick with them. If you decided to go with a less popular breed I am sure you will be able to find breed specific material, it just may be more costly.
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 Posted 7/31/2014 10:30:16 PM
 

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Big three consisting of Chesapeake, American/British labs?



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 Posted 8/1/2014 7:39:56 AM
 

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Chesapeake, Lab and goldens. There are some great goldens out there. Swampers is one that comes to mind. I train with the lady that bred Swampers dog regularly and all her goldens are hard driving dogs. If you go the chessy route you may need some advice from chessy experts. They can be a tough fit for the usual training program without some tweaking. 
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 Posted 8/12/2014 11:27:52 PM
 

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Sounds like the lab is kind of the best of both worlds. Have never met a lab I haven't liked, which may have something to do with why I think it's so cool when someone posts a German or spaniel standing proud with a limit of birds.



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